Friday’s High Flipper Five: Villains
“Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix,
Of crooked counsels and dark politics.”
Alexander Pope, The Temple of Fame
Oh yes, that Alexander Pope is always good for a epigram isn’t he? After Bonnie Tyler and her heroes last week, Book Walrus thought it was only fair to add a bit of balance, and consider…
Top 5 Villains in Children’s Literature
1. Lord Voldemort, from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
“He disappeared after leaving school … traveled far and wide … sank so deeply into the Dark Arts, consorted with the very worst of our kind, underwent so many magical transformations that when he resurfaced he was barely recognisable.”
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is the ultimate calm, thinking villain. He plots, he plans, and his dark politics leave only death and destruction in his wake. There is no fixing Lord Voldemort.
2. The White Witch, from The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
“You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to a kill… And so, that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property.”
Jadis, The White Witch, makes it always winter but never Christmas. She turns people to stone. She [SPOILER] evilly manipulates the power of Turkish Delight. Truly dark politics.
3. The Grand High Witch, from The Witches by Roald Dahl
“My orders are that every single child in the country shall be rrrubbed out, sqvashed, sqvirted, sqvitted and ffrrritered before I come here again in vun year’s time. Do I make myself clear?”
The most powerful witch in the world, just the thought of the Grand High Witch scratching her head is enough to give Book Walrus nightmares. He doesn’t know if witches can smell walruses the same way they can smell children, but he doesn’t want to take his chances.
4. Count Olaf, from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
“If you were going to give a gold medal to Count Olaf, you would have to lock it up someplace before the awarding ceremony, because Count Olaf was such a greedy and evil man that he would try to steal it beforehand.”
Unlike the other dastardly villains on this list, Count Olaf is more fixated with the Baudelaire orphans’ inheritance than in taking over the world. His slightly smaller ambitions make him no less evil however, as he continually plots murderous schemes against the children and their guardians. When it comes to counsellors, Count Olaf’s henchmen are among the crookedest. Book Walrus would not want to take advice from The Hook-Handed Man, The Two White-Faced Women or The Bald Man with the Long Nose. Nor would he like to meet them on a darkened ice berg.
5. Dolores Umbridge, from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
“I do not wish to criticize the way things have been run in this school,” she said, an unconvincing smile stretching her wide mouth, “but you have been exposed to some very irresponsible wizards in this class, very irresponsible indeed – not to mention,” she gave a nasty little laugh, “extremely dangerous half-breeds.”
Dolores Umbridge is possibly the scariest villain on this list. A tyrant in a pink cardigan, she hides her racism and intolerance behind management speak, and her sadism behind the kittens on her wall. Umbridge is frightening because she’s not a power-crazed lunatic, or the most powerful witch in the world, she’s a middle-management fiend. She could be in your school, or in your office, and that’s what makes her character so powerful.
Have we missed your favourite villain? Let us know!